In 2016, the Pentagon released a draft of its comprehensive global risk assessment; this climate change as a driver of global instability and possible conflict. The final draft replaces "climate change" with weak-kneed, cowardly euphemisms like "extreme weather," failing to attribute this weather to anthropogenic climate change, a matter of scientific consensus which Donald Trump has stated is a "Chinese plot."
John Conger, an Obama-era Pentagon official who helped create the earlier draft, says that the final report undermines the urgency of climate change.
The final document, a 32-page report to Congress, was published more than a year after the earlier draft. It, like its earlier version, finds that out of more than 3,500 military sites around the world, 782 reported being affected by drought, 763 by major wind events, and 706 by flooding, along with other problems — results that drew considerable attention when they debuted in late January.
But the December 2016 draft was far more direct in its discussion of climate change and in particular the issue of sea-level rise — a well-known problem facing many military sites in coastal areas, from the sprawling naval base in Norfolk to the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site in the Pacific's remote Marshall Islands. Seas are currently rising by about 3.2 millimeters per year, and scientists fear the rise could accelerate in coming decades.
The final Pentagon document even omits, in several cases, the simple observation that learning about bases' vulnerability to sea-level rise was a core part of the survey that is the subject of the report. That survey itself asked each military site how much of its area was located at elevations between 0-3, 0-6, 0-9, or 0-12 feet above sea level.
Pentagon revised Obama-era report to remove risks from climate change [Chris Mooney and Missy Ryan/Washington Post]
(via Naked Capitalism)
(Image: Leon Brooks, PD)